Boys Can’t Catch Greyhounds Despite Valiant Effort
NAUGATUCK — Greyhounds are pretty hard to catch. Newtown High School’s boys’ basketball team found this to be the case, but they almost got the job done after falling far behind against its Division III state playoff second-round opponent on March 7. The host and sixth-seeded Naugatuck Greyhounds staved off a resilient 11th-seeded Nighthawk squad that nearly erased a 15-point fourth-quarter deficit. Naugatuck prevailed 66-60.
The Hawks fell behind 44-33 at halftime and 55-40 to begin the fourth and trailed by 13 with less than three minutes to go before going on a 9-0 run. Having overcome Capital Prep’s late-game 11-point lead before winning in overtime in the opening round, the Hawks were not deterred. Pressure and turnover-causing defense helped Newtown whittle the deficit down.
Trailing 64-59, Newtown’s defense gave the offense four possessions to close the gap. Things certainly got interesting, but after Jack Petersen’s bucket off the glass with 1:27 to play, Newtown managed only a free throw.
“We went out like champions tonight. We came out — we gave everything we had,” Newtown Coach Tim Tallcouch said. “We kept fighting, kept fighting, kept fighting — just couldn’t hit a big shot at the very end to make it even more interesting.”
Tallcouch said a switch to full-court man-to-man defense was the key to his team’s comeback after a few other defensive strategies couldn’t tame the Greyhounds.
After Robert DiSibio made it 64-51, and Jack Mulligan scored following a turnover. Petersen’s pressure near the mid-court line led to a Naugatuck player dribbling the ball off his foot and out of bounds, a double team by Riley Ward and Isiah Williams led to another turnover, and DiSibio blocked a shot. The Greyhounds missed a handful of free throws in the final quarter, but Newtown’s success on the offensive came up just short.
DiSibio scored 18 points, Todd Petersen had 14, Jack Petersen 11, Mulligan eight, Ward six, and Williams three in the defeat.
Tallcouch noted that he will miss seniors Tucker Garrity, Todd Petersen, and DiSibio, along with Shea Talbot who has been sidelined since earlier in the season.
“Even though they’re not going to be back next year they’re going to be in my heart,” Tallcouch said.
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